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An Apple Car (and other vehicles) could sport a ‘Digital License Plate’

This graphic is a diagram illustrating an example of a hardware implementation of a system for operating a digital license plate frame.

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Such a vehicle could sport a “Digital License Plate” according to a newly filed patent (number US 20230394997 A1) by Apple. 

The digital license plate could be controlled by an iPhone for changeable graphics. Also, Apple could  could offer the feature to other car makers.

About the patent filing

The patent filing relates generally to license plate frames and, more particularly, to a system and method for a digital license plate frame wirelessly operated via a remotely executed software application (e.g., executing on a paired smartphone or a connected vehicle).

In the patent filing, Apple says that many vehicle operators want to personalize their driving experience. Traditional methods for personalizing vehicles include bumper stickers and personalized license plate frames. However, Apple says that a cost effective, interactive license plate frame that enables personalization of the driving experience is needed.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A digital license plate frame is described. The digital license plate frame includes a frame including an opening sized according to an identifying portion of a license plate positioned within the frame. The identifying portion includes a license plate number and a registration expiration date of a vehicle. 

“The digital license plate frame also includes at least one display on the frame. The digital license plate frame further includes a controller configured to pair with an external device via wireless communications and control of the at least one display to display content specified via a client application executing on the external device.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple’s work on the Apple Car has “lost all visibility at the current time. He has noted that if Apple does not adopt some kind of acquisition strategy to make inroads in the automotive market, it is unlikely that the ‌Apple Car‌ will be able to go into mass production “within the next few years.”

On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple was accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article said that the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025. However, that timeframe looks increasingly unlikely.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.